rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • The CBC u>notes the consensus that the new Ontario minimum wage will not hurt the economy, overall, but provide a mild boost.

  • The Toronto Star notes that, from 2019, analog television broadcasts will start ramping down.

  • The Toronto Star notes that high prices in Ontario's cottage country are causing the market to expand to new areas.

  • Gizmodo reports on one study suggesting that Proxima Centauri b does have the potential to support Earth-like climates.

  • Gizmodo notes one study speculating on the size of Mars' vanished oceans.

  • Quartz reports on how one community in Alaska and one community in Louisiana are facing serious pressures from climate change and from the political reaction to said.

  • CBC notes an oil platform leaving Newfoundland for the oceans.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • James Bow calls for an end to the US-Canada Safe Third Country agreement prohibiting people coming from American soil from claiming refugee status in Canada.

  • D-Brief reports on the vast array of man-made minerals appearing in what is now being called the Anthropocene Era of Earth.

  • Dangerous Minds notes the efforts of the Disco Preservation Society to preserve DJ mixes from 1980s San Francisco.

  • Language Log takes issue with Neil DeGrasse Tyson's argument that cryptographers, not linguists, would be needed in Arrival.

  • The LRB Blog notes impunity for murderers of civil society activists in Honduras.

  • Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen talks about Joyce Gladwell's autobiography Brown Face, Big Master.

  • The NYRB Daily celebrates the work of Hercules Segers.

  • The Planetary Society Blog is skeptical of the Space X plan to send tourists past the Moon by 2018.

  • Supernova Condensate lists 8 things we know about Proxima Centauri b.

  • Towleroad reports on new walking tours being offered of gay London.

  • Arnold Zwicky engages with a California exhibition comparing paintings with movies.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • blogTO notes that the redevelopment of Toronto's Port Lands is continuing.

  • Crooked Timber argues that climate denialism exposes the socially constructed nature of property rights.

  • D-Brief notes the reburial of Kennewick Man.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes there is no sign of a second planet around Proxima Centauri.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at life in Texas.

  • The LRB Blog analyzes Milo's stumble.

  • Marginal Revolution considers the levels of disorderliness different societies, like Sweden, can tolerate.

  • The NYRB Daily reports on the poisoning of a Russian dissident.

  • The Planetary Society Blog suggests Voyager 1 picked up Enceladus' plumes.

  • Peter Rukavina writes of his mapping of someone's passage on the Camino Francés.

  • Supernova Condensate looks at the United Arab Emirates' plan to build a city on Mars in a century.

  • Torontoist reported on a protest demanding action on the overdose crisis.
  • Towleroad describes the plight of Mr. Gay Syria in Istanbul and reports on the progress of same-sex marriage in Finland.

  • Understanding Society considers the complexity of managing large technological projects.

  • Window on Eurasia links to one Russian writer arguing Putin should copy Trump and links to anotehr suggesting the Russian Orthodox Church is overreaching.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Centauri Dreams looks at ongoing research into the sizes of Alpha Centauri A and B.

  • Dangerous Minds notes Finland's introduction of a new Tom of Finland emoji.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper speculating as to the fate of icy dwarf exoplanets in white dwarf systems.

  • The Dragon's Tales reports on the intensification of the war in Ukraine's Donbas.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog asks readers how they study.

  • Language Log looks at the structure of yes-no questions in Chinese.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at the consequences of the Trump travel ban.

  • The Planetary Society Blog considers impact craters as potential abodes for life.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer does not quite understand renters' fears about new developments in their neighbourhoods.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers the court ruling against Trump's refugee order.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests prospects for long-term economic growth in Russia have collapsed, and notes the sharp fall in real incomes in Asian Russia.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Centauri Dreams notes the sad news that, because of the destructive way in which the stellar activity of young red dwarfs interacts with oxygen molecules in exoplanet atmospheres, Proxima Centauri b is likely not Earth-like.

  • Crooked Timber takes issue with the idea of Haidt that conservatives are uniquely interested in the idea of purity.

  • D-Brief notes the discovery of an intermediate-mass black hole in the heart of 47 Tucanae.

  • The Dragon's Tales reports on the search for Planet Nine.Far Outliers reports on the politics in 1868 of the first US Indian Bureau.

  • Imageo maps the depletion of sea ice in the Arctic.

  • Language Hat remembers the life of linguist Patricia Crampton.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes some of the potential pitfalls involved with Buy American campaigns (and like political programs in other countries), including broad-based xenophobia.

  • The LRB Blog looks at nationalism and identity in their intersections with anti-Muslim sentiment in Québec.

  • The Map Room Blog links to an essay on the last unmapped places.

  • Torontoist notes the 2017 Toronto budget is not going to support affordable housing.

  • Transit Toronto reports on TTC revisions to its schedules owing to shortfalls in equipment, like buses.

  • Window on Eurasia claims that Putin needs a successful war in Ukraine to legitimize his rule, just as Nicholas II needed a victory to save Tsarism.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • blogTO tries to pit the west side of Toronto against the east side.

  • Centauri Dreams describes an inventive plan to launch a probe to rendezvous with Proxima Centauri.

  • Crooked Timber looks at the idea of civil society in the age of Trump.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper that aims to explore why Neptune-class exoplanets are so common.

  • Marginal Revolution notes an interesting history of Singapore.

  • The New APPS Blog links to a report suggesting that big data may have created President Trump.

  • The Planetary Society Blog reports on the latest plans for exploring Ceres.

  • Towleroad notes a rumoured plan to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination under Trump.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy has one take on Supreme Court obstructionism.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russians may accept pension reforms which will place the minimum age for qualifying for a pension for men above the average male life expectancy, and reports from St. Petersburg about a dispute over the ownership of a church.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • At Apostrophen, 'Nathan Smith writes about the status of his various writing projects.

  • Beyond the Beyond's Bruce Sterling links to an article examining pieces of software that have shaped modern music.

  • blogTO notes the expansion of the Drake Hotel to a new Junction site. Clearly the Drake is becoming a brand.

  • Citizen Science Salon looks at how Internet users can help fight illegal fishing in the Pacific.

  • Crooked Timber asks readers for new Doctor Who candidates.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper finding that the presence of Proxima Centauri would not have inhibited planetary formation around Alpha Centauri A and B.

  • The LRB Blog notes the growing fear among Muslims in the diaspora.

  • The Map Room Blog shares a reimagined map of the Paris metro.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy and Towleroad have very different opinions on the nomination of Neil Gorusch to the US Supreme Court.

  • Transit Toronto reports on the reopening of the TTC parking lot at Yorkdale.

  • Whatever's John Sclazi responds to the past two weeks of Trump-related chaos, and is not impressed.

  • Window on Eurasia notes that the Russian Orthodox Church carries itself as an embattled minority because it is one, and looks at the future of Russian federalism in regards to Tatarstan.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • blogTO reports on how a trespasser at track level disrupted subway service today.

  • Crooked Timber argues Trump's migration ban is best under stood as an elaboration of existing Western immigration policies, taking them to their logical conclusion.

  • Dangerous Minds looks at 1980s New York City industrial rockers Missing Foundation.

  • The Dragon's Gaze examines the orbit of Proxima Centauri around the A-B pair.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog profiles four millennial students to attack the idea of their generation as lazy.

  • Language Log and Strange Maps look at how the list of countries whose citizens are banned from the US does not map onto the list of countries which have provided terrorists who have attacked the United States.

  • The LRB BLog looks at the first ten days of the Trump Administration.

  • The NYRB Daily looks at the scale of the popular mobilization against Trump.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer looks at how modest immigration controls in Argentina are overshadowed by the US.

  • Transit Toronto reports on streetcar line repair on Queen Street.

  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Trump will allow Russia to do as it will in most of the former Soviet Union, and <a href="http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.ca/2017/01/moscow-now-taking-seriously-that-russia.html'><U>looks</u></a> at the prospect Russia might lose out in international sporting events.</li> </ul>
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Astronomy's John Wenz reports on a proposal to try to initiate contact with a hypothetical civilization on Proxima Centauri b that does not necessarily leave me cold, or worried. A hypothetical Proximan civilization only a decade more advanced in observational astronomy that us might well be aware of the existence of Earth, could conceivably even be aware of our technological civilization's existence. A Proximan civilization capable of travelling to us would certainly know this. That said, the critics' argument that this is the sort of thing that really should be handled by a broad-based coalition also makes sense. If we are going to send out messages, let's try to come up with some standards, at least.

Douglas Vakoch, the former Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute, is launching the METI Initiative with one planet in mind: the recently discovered planet around Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth (and thus the closest exoplanet.)

Vakoch says that METI has more than a few targets in mind, there are a few advantages to Proxima Centauri b.

“First, it’s close to our solar system, keeping the time for a roundtrip exchange as short as possible,” Vakoch says. “Second, some have suggested that this exoplanet is potentially habitable.”

[. . .]

“To be intelligible, any message to extraterrestrials needs to be written in a universal language, and that won’t be English or Swahili,” Vakoch says. “We begin with mathematics, because it seems likely that scientists on any world will need to know at least the essentials of math.”

Then there’s the question of why, which Vakoch paraphrases SETI research Ronald Bracewell in saying that humanity should “join the Galactic Club.” Even bigger, though, is the question of “why should we broadcast that we’re here in case we, you know, get invaded.” Of the many, many things that Stephen Hawking has said publicly in recent years, the dangers of alien contact has come up again and again. Some in the SETI community say a cautious approach should be taken, with a consortium saying, “We know nothing of ETI’s intentions and capabilities, and it is impossible to predict whether ETI will be benign or hostile.”
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly writes about the need for opponents of Trump to fight, not just the man but the root causes.

  • Centauri Dreams notes a study suggesting Proxima Centauri is gravitationally bound to Alpha Centauri A and B.

  • Dangerous Minds shares photos depicting the devastation of Gatlinburg by fire.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes that stars with close-orbiting rocky worlds seem to have above-solar metallicity, and considers the albedos of exoplanets.

  • Far Outliers looks at how Poland's Communist government tried to undermine Pope John Paul II in 1979.

  • Joe. My. God. notes a lawsuit lodged against the American government demanding the release of information regarding the Russian information hack.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes poor working conditions in Bangladesh.

  • Marginal Revolution notes a Yoruba tongue twister.

  • The Planetary Society Blog links to China's planned program of space exploration.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
Universe Today's Matt Williams reports on a paper suggesting that Proxima Centauri b could potentially support life, so long as its atmosphere and magnetosphere are sufficiently dense to ward off charged particles from its sun.

[W]hile some research has cast doubt on the possibility that Proxima b could indeed support life, a new research study offers a more positive picture. The research comes from the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science (BMSIS) in Seattle, Washington, where astrobiologist Dimitra Atri has conducted simulations that show that Proxima b could indeed be habitable, assuming certain prerequisites were met.

Dr. Atri is a computational physicist whose work with the BMSIS includes the impacts of antiparticles and radiation on biological systems. For the sake of his study – “Modelling stellar proton event-induced particle radiation dose on close-in exoplanets“, which appeared recently in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters – he conducted simulations to measure the impact stellar flares from its sun would have on Proxima b.

To put this perspective, it is important to note how the Kepler mission has found a plethora of planets orbiting red dwarf stars in recent years, many of which are believed to be “Earth-like” and are close enough to their suns to have liquid water on their surfaces. However, red dwarfs have a number of issues that do not bode well for habitability, which include their variable nature and the fact they are cooler and fainter than other classes of stars.

This means that any planet close enough to orbit within a red dwarf’s habitable zone would be subject to powerful solar flares – aka. Stellar Proton Events (SPEs) – and would likely be tidally-locked with the star. In other words, only one side would be getting the light and heat necessary to support life, but it would be exposed to a lot of solar protons, which would interact with its atmosphere to create harmful radiation.

As such, the astronomical community is interested in what kinds of conditions are there for planets like Proxima b so they might know if life has (or had) a shot of evolving there. For the sake of his study, Dr. Atri conducted a series of probability (aka. Monte Carlo) simulations that took into account three factors – the type and size of stellar flares, various thicknesses of the planet’s atmosphere and the strength of its magnetic field.

[. . .] Atri found that the existence of a strong magnetic field, which would also ensure that the planet has a viable atmosphere, would lead survivable conditions. While the planet would still experience a spike in radiation whenever a superflare took place, life could survive on a planet like Proxima b in the long run. On the other hand, a weak atmosphere or magnetic field would foretell doom.
rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Centauri Dreams looks at the advanced microelectronics that might last a space probe the two decades it would take to get to Proxima Centauri.

  • Dangerous Minds links to a 1980 filmed concert performance by Queen.

  • The Dragon's Gaze reports on the discovery of potassium in the atmosphere of WASP-17b.

  • Language Hat looks at the Carmina of Optatianus, an interesting piece of Latin literature.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reports on the shameless anti-democratic maneuvering of the Republicans in North Carolina.

  • The LRB Blog reflects on the shamelessness of the perpetrators of the Aleppo massacres.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at what Charles Darwin's reading habits have to say about the man's process of research.

  • North!'s Justin Petrone looks at the elves of Estonia.

  • The NYRB Daily praises the new movie Manchester by the Sea.

  • The Planetary Society Blog shares a recent photo of Phobos.

  • Peter Rukavina argues that the Island's low PISA scores do not necessarily reflect on what Islanders have learned.

  • Savage Minds shares an essay by someone who combines academic work with library work.

  • Torontoist notes the city's subsidies to some major water polluters.

  • Window on Eurasia notes the anniversary of some important riots in Kazakhstan.

  • Arnold Zwicky reflects on the penguin-related caption of a photo on Wikipedia that has made the world laugh.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Bad Astronomy notes the weird polar hexagonal wind systems of Saturn.

  • blogTO notes that Presto is now in fifty TTC stations.

  • The Broadside Blog talks about ways to be a good guest.

  • Centauri Dreams notes efforts to image planets orbiting Alpha Centauri A and/or B.

  • Crooked Timber takes a first look at the origins of Trumpism.

  • Dangerous Minds notes that the Jesus and Mary Chain are set to release a new studio album.

  • The Dragon's Gaze looks at the testing of the James Webb Space Telescope mirror.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that HIV is now recognized in the US as a carcinogen.

  • Language Hat looks at principles for naming in different languages.

  • Language Log notes that Trumps' granddaughter did a good job of reading Tang China poems.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the TPP is dead.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the continued threat of tuberculosis.

  • Steve Munro looks at 504 King travel times.

  • The NYRB Daily notes the likely future degeneration of Turkey.

  • Seriously Science notes that the most one posts comments on Reddit (and other forums?) the worse they become.

  • Transit Toronto looks at TTC bus route changes planned in light of subway expansion.

  • Window on Eurasia looks at ethnic conflict in Archangelsk, in multi-ethnic Stavropol and among Circassians in Krasnodar, even with Belarusian activists in Smolensk.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith talks about his upcoming session at the Naked Heart literary festival here in Toronto.

  • blogTO notes that Metrolinx is set to kill Bombardier's LRT contract.

  • Centauri Dreams talks about the discovery of planets in the system of HD 87646, one not unlike Alpha Centauri.

  • Dangerous Minds talks about a documentary on skinheads.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to two papers about the discovery of planetary debris in orbit of white dwarfs.
  • The Dragon's Tales links to a paper speculating if the primordial atmosphere of Titan was ammonia.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog talks about the vote and immigrants.

  • The LRB Blog notes the worrying state of Brexit rhetoric.

  • The Map Room Blog links to a digital atlas of Mi'kmaq names in Nova Scotia.

  • Marginal Revolution looks at the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at China's powerful new Long March 5 rocket.

  • Towleroad notes Kim Davis' large legal bill.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy's Orin Kerr supports Hillary, another noting how Utah can save the US from Trump.

  • Window on Eurasia argues Putin's Russia is more dangerous than the Soviet Union and suggests that the official definition of the Russian nation is brittle.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • 'Apostrophen's 'Nathan Smith talks about when it is appropriate to judge a book by its blurb.

  • Beyond the Beyond examines the remarkable scandal in South Korea involving with the cult and its control over the country's president.

  • blogTO notes unreasonably warm weather in Toronto this November.

  • Dangerous Minds shares a corporate sales video from the early 1990s for Prince's studio.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes the effect of Proxima Centauri on planetary formation around Alpha Centauri A and B.

  • The Extremo Files notes unorthodox ways of finding life.

  • Language Log talks about the language around Scotland and Northern Ireland and their relationship as complicated by Brexit.

  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting inheritances reduce inequality.

  • Savage Minds talks about an anarchist archaeology.

  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers a controversy at the Library of Congress.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • blogTO warned yesterday of impending snowfall.

  • Centauri Dreams considers if planets in the circumstellar habitable zones of red dwarfs, like Proxima Centauri b, might tend to be ocean worlds.

  • Crooked Timber tries to track down the source of some American electoral maps breaking down support for candidates finely, by demographics.

  • D-Brief shares stunning images of L1448 IRS3B, a nascent triple stellar system.

  • Joe. My. God. notes the advent of same-sex marriage in Gibraltar.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that, the last time the Cubs won, Russia was run by Romanovs.

  • Maximos62 meditates on Bali as a plastic civilization.

  • The NYRB Daily reflects on how the Beach Boys have, and have not, aged well.

  • Personal Reflections' Jim Belshaw looks at un- and underemployment in Australia.

  • Torontoist looks at what we can learn from the dedicated bus routes of Mexico City.

  • Understanding Society looks at economics and structural change in middle-income countries.

  • Window on Eurasia notes one man's argument that Russians should be privileged as the only state-forming nation in the Russian Federation, and shares another Russia's argument against any idea of Belarusian distinctiveness.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Beyond the Beyond links to an interview with Darran Anderson, a writer of cartographic fiction.

  • Centauri Dreams notes that 2028 will be a time when microlensing can b used to study the area of Alpha Centauri A.

  • The Crux engages with the question of whether or not an astronaut's corpse could seed life on another planet.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a study that gathers together signals for planetary companions orbiting nearby stars.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that the only gay bar in Portland, Maine, is set to close.

  • Language Log notes the proliferation of Chinese characters and notes that a parrot could not be called to the stand in Kuwait.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the last time the Chicago Cubs won, Germany was an empire.

  • The Map Room Blog notes the discovery of an ancient stone map on the Danish island of Bornholm.

  • The Planetary Society Blog examines some of the New Horizons findings of Pluto.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer argues that Venezuela is now a dictatorship.

  • Towleroad notes
  • Window on Eurasia notes a Russian cleric's call for the children of ethnically mixed marriages in Tatarstan to be legally identified as Russians.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • Centauri Dreams describes an unusually old circumstellar disk orbiting a red dwarf.

  • The Dragon's Gaze links to a paper analyzing the possible internal structure of Proxima Centauri b and looks at how common water worlds are.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at how poverty can complicate aging in the United States.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the Trump campaign's lack of understanding of Wikileaks.

  • The LRB Blog notes a liberal Briton opposed to EEC membership.

  • The Map Room Blog maps Mosul.

  • Marginal Revolution examines the question of whether to use "renminbi" or "yuan", and where.

  • The NYRB Daily hosts an exchange about the number of men who have fallen out of regular employment.

  • Savage Minds examines how a northeast Indian community has reclaimed archaeology.

  • Window on Eurasia argues a frozen conflict is better for Ukraine than an unjust peace, and looks at why economic downturns in Russia are not accompanied by political protest.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • blogTO notes a photo series celebrating the corner stores of Toronto and reports on massive condo towers planned for Yonge and College.

  • Centauri Dreams notes the antimatter sail as a potential future propulsion technology.

  • D-Brief notes the beginning of a search for an Earth-like planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A or B.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that it is Ecuador that disrupted Assange's Internet connection.

  • Language Hat looks at distinctions between fiction and non-fiction in different literatures.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how Republicans are concerned for the future of the US Supreme Court and links to Matt Taibbi's article suggesting that Trump might reinforce the existing American system.

  • Maximos62 links to his new audiobook of tales from Asia and the Pacific.

  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the relationship between rapidly rotating regular satellite and their tides.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that language shift among the Kalmyks to Russia has not weakened their ethnic identity, and shares arguments that Tatarstan and Bashkortostan must be brought back into line in with Russia's national government.

rfmcdonald: (Default)

  • blogTO looks at Toronto's old neon signs and its still-visible ghost signs.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly looks at Donald Trump as a bully.

  • Dangerous Minds shares vintage photos from the set of Labyrinth.

  • The Dragon's Gaze notes a not-unexpected non-detection of Proxima Centauri b.

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the presidential debates through the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu.

  • Joe. My. God. notes Glenn Beck's endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

  • Language Log looks at how foreigners pronounce "ni hao".

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that Donald Trump has been using material from Russian disinformation campaigns directly.

  • The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer reports on very odd fiscal legislation in Brazil that seems unlikely to end in controlling spending.

  • Window on Eurasia reports on the marginalized Ainu of Kamchatka and suggests Sufism in central Asia is doomed.

Profile

rfmcdonald: (Default)rfmcdonald

June 2017

S M T W T F S
     1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 1617
1819 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jun. 28th, 2017 12:11 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios